New Faces at The District Service Center
By Brant Henshaw, et. al.
As the District Service Center wrapped up its first year of existence, it has gone through a few changes due to wonderful opportunities presenting themselves to staff. With Skylar Bihl and Jonathan Assink moving on to new vocational adventures, we are pleased to welcome Kathy Finau and Marie Kuch-Stanovsky!
Kathy joined the team in late August and Marie has joined in late September. They are settling in to their roles very nicely and look forward to working with local churches. Kathy will be the primary contact for Seven Rivers and Tacoma districts while Marie will care for Vancouver and Seattle districts.
The service center can be reached at 888-818-4288 with any questions or needs.
I recently joined the District Service Center after a wonderful whirlwind year of change in her life. I moved to Massachusetts last fall to complete my Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree with a focus on religion, graduating in May 2014.
I got married at the beginning of this month and am now settling into a new home in Green Lake with my husband, Walker. I am a life-long United Methodist, and participated in the life of the church in a variety of ways, including camping ministries, annual conference worship team, and as a 2012 General Conference delegate.
I am very excited to see familiar faces and to make new connections in this role at the District Service Center.
As I reflect on my journey around the Globe, the theme “trusting in the path and the abilities that God provides” comes to light.
I grew up in Denver, Colo. After college, I wanted to see the world so I moved to the East Coast and entered graduate school. I discovered a love of cultures and studied in Poland for a semester. After earning my Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management I entered into the Peace Corps and served in the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific from ’99 to ’01.
While there, I gained an appreciation for community life and I met my husband, Sione. While I was in the Peace Corps, we married in a traditional Tongan wedding ceremony. We moved to the States in ’01 and settled in Southeast Colorado where we lived there for 11 years.
While there, I served the First United Methodist Church of Las Animas as Treasurer and started a consulting business writing and administering grants for local nonprofits and local governments. I enjoyed being involved in a variety of projects and discerning how to accomplish the goals in a way that best served the community and client. Our two children were born there and I am thankful that their first experience of the world was in a small community surrounded by friends and familiar faces.
We visited Seattle a couple of years ago and I remember my husband and I looking at each other during a harbor cruise and saying that this is where we would like to call ‘home’. God closed windows and opened doors for us to move to Seattle in February this year. Neither my husband nor I had a job or family (that we knew at the time) here – but we knew that Seattle was the right place for us and that God would take care of us. And HE has!
We have joined the First Tongan United Methodist Church (Seattle, Wash.) and have discovered family that Sione had never met. I was looking to join an organization and be a part of a larger mission. I believe that God put me on the path to discover the District Service Center while I was helping my congregation with a GCORR grant and connected with several of the District Center staff while putting the pieces of the grant together. I was impressed with their attitude of service with integrity and jumped at the chance to apply for the position when it was posted. I am blessed to be able to work with the diverse congregations in the PNW Conference.